Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is keeping away from his colleagues after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Supreme Court issued a statement Friday morning confirming that Kavanaugh, who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since January, tested positive for the illness on Thursday. The justice has not had symptoms. The court said:
On Thursday, per the Court’s regular testing protocols, Justice Kavanaugh had a routine Covid test ahead of Justice Barrett’s investiture on Friday. On Thursday evening, Justice Kavanaugh was informed that he had tested positive for Covid-19. He has no symptoms and has been fully vaccinated since January. Per current Court testing protocols, all of the Justices were tested Monday morning prior to conference, and all tested negative, including Justice Kavanaugh. Justice Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters are also fully vaccinated, and they tested negative on Thursday. As a precaution, Justice and Mrs. Kavanaugh will not attend Justice Barrett’s investiture this morning.
Though breakthrough cases are possible, getting vaccinated does drastically lessen the chance that one suffers severe symptoms or is hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. Despite the vaccines’ effectiveness, the Biden administration has pushed back against lifting lockdown restrictions over COVID-19.
In September, President Joe Biden announced a six-point plan to combat COVID-19, a plan including a mandate for millions of Americans to be vaccinated. The Biden administration has also continued to mandate mask-wearing on federal property, in airports, and on airplanes regardless of vaccination status. During his speech announcing his six-point plan, Biden blamed unvaccinated Americans and GOP state leaders for perpetuating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Biden said. “And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”
“And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19,” he continued. “Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they’re ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities. This is totally unacceptable.”
After admitting that the vaccines give “strong protections” to those who choose to receive them, Biden insisted that restrictions remain in place to “protect” the vaccinated from the unvaccinated.
“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you — the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love,” Biden said.
“The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America,” he continued.
A previous version of this article stated that Kavanaugh tested negative after testing positive. He tested positive after testing negative.